SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA – Off-grid renewable energy provider Winch Energy has opened a crowdfunding campaign to fund solar off-grid development to connect people in Sierra Leone and Uganda to clean power.

This particular campaign allows individuals to invest in Africa’s growing clean energy market via Crowdcube starting at US$13.21.

The London-based company has already received an investment from shareholder Total Eren.

The IPP pledged £375,000 (US$496,554) to the new Crowdcube campaign and to date, the off-grid utility provider has raised US$18m through equity and loans and this helped it establish a pipeline of projects that should benefit more than 4.2 million people in off-grid communities.

Nicholas Wrigley, Winch Energy CEO/founder, said a key takeaway from COP26 is the need to scale up clean energy production in developing nations.

“Access to reliable energy is fundamental for stimulating economies, improving standards of living, and reducing migration and overcrowding in cities. We have witnessed first-hand the impact access to clean, affordable energy has. These countries require a combination of energy solutions to meet development objectives. They have remote communities and are presented with geographical and infrastructure challenges yet are blessed with plentiful sunshine. So, solar is an obvious part of the mix,” explained Wrigley.

The commercial viability of clean energy projects

The organization has installed pilots in Mauritania and Benin; developed a project to power community healthcare centers in Sierra Leone; given energy access to 20,000 people on Lake Victoria; and recently began constructing 25 mini-grids in Uganda’s northern Lamwo district.

Once it goes live, that development will also provide street lighting and improve water services in 25 villages.

As more developments demonstrate the success of off-grid market investments, it becomes easier for developers to finance further projects. This leads to better pricing and higher quality products for energy consumers.

“We have already seen great growth in Africa’s clean energy market and the current spotlight on leveling up while managing climate change will push for further progress. This crowdfunding campaign gives individuals the opportunity to participate in the development of the Company and invest in change,” said Wrigley.

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